Birds gathered around a feeder or splashing in the pond in your backyard are amusing to watch. But when they take up residence on the roof or in the gutters, they can become real pests. See if any of these methods to keep birds out of the gutters will work for you.
Birds of Prey
Post a bird of prey on the roof. Most species of birds that find the roof or the gutter system of a house an attractive place to live are afraid of owls, hawks and other winged predators. Specifically relevant to the Vancouver area are owls and seagulls. Bird decoys are available in a variety of poses, including outspread wings. Even so, some kinds of nesting birds clue in eventually; move the decoy to another part of the roof.
Bird Spikes and Slides
Bird spikes are made of metal or plastic and can be three to 10 inches in length. Anti-bird spikes make landing on a roof uncomfortable for birds.
The same goes for bird slides. Bird slides, also called bird slopes, are pieces of plastic installed at 90-degree angles at the corners where they like to perch. They can also be made of aluminum.
Scents and Sounds
There are a number of repelling products intended to create an unpleasant environment for birds looking for a good place to nest. However, most ready-made gels do contain toxic chemicals. Natural remedies for repelling birds with scent include ground garlic, garlic oil, or ground chili peppers.
Devices that send out sound waves can be placed on the roof edge near the gutters. Most available devices are speakers that emit predator bird sounds or high-frequency pitches heard by birds only.
Installing Gutter Guards
Leaf protectors made of metal or plastic are designed to keep debris out of the gutters while allowing water to flow through the gutter system. There are a variety of gutter guards, but most types will keep out nesting birds.
More Tips for Keeping Birds Away
Urban birds find roofs and gutters appealing for several reasons, including their habitat area has fewer available trees; a roofline provides sheltered places; and a home’s exterior is a water source (gutters, pooling water on roof tiles, etc.). Make your property less attractive to nesting birds by:
- fixing loose soffit panels and fascia boards
- clearing away accumulated debris in the gutters
- keeping roof valleys, chimneys and areas around roof protrusions (skylight, air vent, dormer window) free of leaves, twigs, silt, etc.